Yesterday my family lost someone incredibly to us. My Wife's Grandmother, my children's Great-Grandmother Muriel passed away. She would have been 94 in June.
I was asked if there was anything I wanted to say or reminisce about at her service. I declined because I don't think that I could put into a succinct speech how important she was to my family and I.
I would have had to thank her for so many things. Thank her for giving Andrea and I the furniture for our very first apartment. It just happened that she was downsizing as we had decided to move out on our own and our apartment ended up being outfitted with her dining and living room furniture. Without that we would have been hard pressed to afford to purchase all of those things.
Thank you for offering me your car when you stopped driving. I could never have afforded to purchase one myself at the time and it reduced my commute to work for a time from an hour to about 15 minutes. That was extra time I could spend with my new son and was invaluable.
Thank you for sharing your stories with me on the long drives from Kincardine when I would go up and get you for visits down in Dundas. I was always struck with how vividly you remembered your childhood and early years. I will never forget you telling me about your first train ride to Toronto or your Father hitching the horses to the sled in the Winter to take you places. We have lost a touchstone to our past.
Thank you for being my Euchre partner. I cannot begin to explain how much I learned about that game from you. I am thankful that 2 years ago I told you that probably the most content I have ever been was at the old kitchen table in the cottage playing Euchre with you. I want to apologize for being such an atrocious partner and cannot fathom how we were still able to pull off wins against Andrea and Shirley when you were so badly handicapped by me. I must admit it is a bit off putting to be given the gears or hear smack talk about how poorly you play by a 90 year old. I promise to continue trying to improve my game.
Thank you for being a remarkable Great Grandmother to our boys. They know how to play Dominoes and Crazy Eights because of the patience you had to teach them. It is incredibly heartwarming to watch a 4 year old sitting at a small table with his Great Grandma learning to play a game. You were always amazing with our kids and never had a cross word to say to any of them even though they deserved it sometimes. They are better for having known you and you will be missed by all three of them terribly. Declan told us yesterday that it won't be the same up in Kincardine without you. He is right.
Thank you for raising such an amazing family. I see in Shirley and Brenda two of the kindest most giving people that I have ever met. The unconditional love that they show their family is a reflection of where they came from.
When I sat in the hospital with you last week and held your hand I hope you felt it. I hope that you knew that you weren't alone and that those who love you were there with you. You have been in our thoughts constantly and will always be a presence in our lives. I am fortunate to have known you and feel lucky to have been able to spend as much time as I did with you over the last decade.
Thank you for holding on as long as you did. Your strength was remarkable and the grace with which you held yourself, though you must have been in constant pain, is inspiring. As we take the next week to gather our thoughts and prepare to say goodbye this last time all I can say is Thank You.